Brad Paisley is in the news this week for releasing a song entitled “Accidental Racist”. The title seems to imply that people like him are being unfairly labeled “racist”. We’ve all seen the complaints in blog comments by right-wingers claiming they are “tired of being called a racist”. There’s one way to stop the claims – stop being a racist! I take most of their complaints as nothing but propaganda – an attempt to neutralize what they and their fellow conservatives say and do that is clearly, deliberately racist. Our Not Racist page is full of images and tweets by conservatives that reveal the nasty truth. Paisley should browse the images and then ask if his fellow right-wingers are being unfairly labeled.
The lyrics of Paisley’s song seem to apologize for the confederacy and simultaneously defend it. I can’t imagine what its like to have had a family that fought on the side of the confederacy. I suppose it would be like having had a family member fight with the Germans during WWII. Both groups must be keenly aware that they were on the wrong side of history. The world judges both groups harshly, and rightfully so. If it were me, I would never admit to having had family in either group.
There has been an effort in the past few years to rehabilitate the image of the southern confederacy. In Texas, school books have been re-written to replace phrases like “slave trade” with “Atlantic triangular trade”. A number of states have jumped on the “Confederate History and Heritage Month” bandwagon, including Virginia in 2010. Singers like Paisley talk of “rebel pride” and wearing the Confederate flag on their shirts. They don’t care that the confederacy represents a history of slave ownership, or if that’s seen as racist. And their message contradicts itself – they want to celebrate their confederate history, but also complain that it was run by southern Democrats (thankfully, those southern Dems left to join the Republican party during the civil rights struggle – we don’t want them or any other racist in our party).
The right had a Tea Party CPAC panel to discuss how right-wingers can defend themselves against racist charges, but it was a public relations disaster. Panelists shouted down a black reporter. And one panelist said slaves don’t need to forgive slave owners because slaves were provided “food and shelter”.
Fox News’ Hannity had a group of black conservatives on his show to spread their propaganda by claiming that the Democratic Party is a “plantation” telling blacks what to think and controlling their actions, like modern-day slaves. Its hard to imagine anyone believes this, but that’s the purpose of propaganda – to make people believe lies. The fact is, minorities support Democrats because Dems support policies that help minorities. Minority voters know they are free to vote any way they choose. They can be a member of any party, or no party. Its human nature to side with those who have your interests in mind. Why would minorities want to join the Republican or Tea Party? Right-wingers are working to hurt minorities by eliminating the minimum wage, eliminating social programs, and suppressing their vote. These are just a few of the reasons why minorities side with Dems. So the radical right has nothing left to do but spread propaganda and spew vicious rhetoric that riles-up the base. Their strategy is to confuse the public and hide their racism. Unless they admit to and apologize for their long history of racism, and start supporting policies that help minorities, and stop suppressing their vote, they will have lost the minority vote, forever.